Boiling Mad: Power Down Your Heat

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you exercise more self control in volatile situations.

            The vice president was fuming mad. He stormed into the president’s office, firing away in a staccato of criticisms that verbally shredded the president into pieces. Non-plussed, the president calmly looked at the vice president, waited for him to catch his breath and said quietly yet firmly:

           “Let’s talk.” And then he whispered: “Let’s talk.” And in a softer whisper, he said: “Let’s talk.”

Power Restrained Takes Patience

       Most of us would have lashed out at the vice president in self defense. But leaders know that power restrained is power retained. Power stems from within — in the heart not in the hand. As poet Alfred Tennyson noted: “Self reverence, self-knowledge and self control—these three alone lead life to sovereign power.”

     Power emerges from calming down not blowing up; from seeking within not searching out. Power-punching executives ironically weaken their leadership muscle, as philosopher Lao-tse noted: “Force is followed by a lack of strength.”

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